Below is info to help acquaint you with using public transport in and near Paris. There is also info about various tickets, passes and fares that will be useful in finding the most practical and cost efficient means of utilizing the Paris region public transport system. To first get a good overview of learning how to use public transport in/near Paris I recommend starting with some basic research on the website www.parisbytrain.com.
To plan your public transport and learn about the various types of tickets, passes and fares use the website www.ratp.fr. The website offers an English language version but you will find that some parts of the website are more complete/informative if you stick with the French version.
Below are links to two transport maps from this website. The first map shows the métro network and the network for the RER lines within Paris :
The next link shows a map of the RER system within and outside of Paris as well as the suburban train lines that depart from the mainline train stations within Paris. The map also shows the 5 transport zones in the Paris region (which are configured in concentric rings). Paris is located within zone 1 and areas outside of Paris are in zones 2-5 with zone 5 being the furthest zone from Paris :
The link below will show you the various transport tickets and passes on offer (and their associated fares) for your public transport needs. The links to the tickets and passes shown below have been provided since they can be used for those bike tours offered within the Ile-de-France region (within zones 1-5) :
The link below is for the Navigo Découverte Weekly Pass for zones 1-5. This pass is valid from Monday through Sunday and is good for unlimited travel within zones 1-5 on all types of public transport (métro, RER, buses, trams). It can be purchased until Thursday for use during the current week (through Sunday). The zones 1-5 pass costs €22.80 plus €5 for the card itself, which can be reloaded and/or used on any subsequent trips you may make to Paris. You will need a passport sized ''head shot'' photo (dimensions of 2.5cm x 3cm) and this can be scanned/photo copied from your passport, drivers licence or other type of photo ID. The pass can be purchased at the information counters found in all RER stations and in all the mainline train stations (Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon etc.). It can also be purchased in those métro stations with information counters but these will not be found in all métro stations. I highly recommend purchasing this pass if your dates align well with its period of vailidity, especially if you will be using public transport between the Paris airports CDG and Orly and/or if you'll be making day trips outside of Paris that are within zones 1-5 (ex. Versailles, Disney etc.). You may save a few euros buying individual tickets for your journeys but the extra money spent for the pass will save you all the hassle and confusion of trying to calculate the costs of which types of individual tickets you would otherwise need for your public transport needs.
Mobilis Day Pass Zones 1-5
The next link is for the one day Mobilis zones 1-5 transport pass (which costs €17.80). This pass can be purchased from the ticket machines found in every RER and métro station. Be sure to write your last name (nom), first name (prénom) and date (day/month/year) on your pass. It is not valid until its first use so you can buy it in advance and save it to use for when you'll need it. If the Navigo Découverte pass is not efficient for your dates then this pass will be useful on those bike tours within the Ile-de-France region. It can be used to get to/from the bike store or Saint-Maur-des-Fossés (the 2 locations where we'll be meeting) as well as for transport for our bike tour.
The final link I'll provide is for the zone 1-5 Navigo Jeunes Weekend pass. This pass can be used by those from 25 years of age and under on weekends and holidays. It is valid for unlimited travel within zones 1-5 on all types of public transport (métro, RER, buses, trams). The zones 1-5 pass costs €8.95 plus €5 for the card itself, which can be reloaded and used on any subsequent trips you may make to Paris. You will need a passport sized ''head shot'' photo (dimensions of 2.5cm x 3cm) and this can be scanned/photo copied from your passport, drivers licence or other type of photo ID. The pass can be purchased at the information counters found in all RER stations and in all the mainline train stations (Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon etc.). It can also be purchased in those métro stations with information counters but these will not be found in all métro stations.
Below is the list of bike tours for which these three types of transport passes would be valid
3 Hour Marne River and Bois de Vincennes Tour
The Marne River Tour
3 Hour Paris's Nearby Countryside Tour
Crécy-la-Chapelle to Coulommiers Tour
Moret-sur-Loing to Bouron-Marlotte Tour
For the 3 Hour Paris's Nearby Countryside Tour and the 3 Hour Marne River and Bois de Vincennes Tour, if you are going to be using either the Jeunes Weekend Pass or the Mobilis Pass you will only need to purchase a pass for zones 1-3. It is also important to note that there are other types of tickets and passes available for purchase that are not covered here. See the ratp.fr website for further info about other types of tickets, passes and fares.